Union Democrat staff

Gerald Gene Ferro

April 27, 1931 - March 8, 2013

Gerald Ferro, a part-time Twain Harte resident, died March 8 at his home in Oakdale. He was 81.

Mr. Ferro was born and raised in Alameda and graduated from Alameda High School.

He married Mae Rosalie DePaoli in 1952 in Berkeley.

After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1954, he served for two years as a U.S. Army officer in Germany during the Korean conflict.

Mr. Ferro spent his career with the affiliated Kaiser companies, mostly in the Bay Area, retiring as vice president of industrial relations for Kaiser Steel.

He was a part-time Twain Harte resident for 29 years and recently moved from Danville to Oakdale.

Mr. Ferro is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mae Ferro, of Oakdale and Twain Harte; his daughters and sons-in-law, Kelly and Michael Dierker, of Twain Harte, and Kathleen and Leslie Levey of Chino Valley, Ariz.; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated 10 a.m. Saturday at All Saints Catholic Church, 18674 Cherokee Drive, Twain Harte.

Heuton Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.

Major Lucas Frederick 'Gaza' Gruenther

Dec. 29, 1980 - Jan. 28, 2013

Lucas Frederick "Gaza" Gruenther, of Twain Harte, a major in the U.S. Air Force, died Jan. 28 when his F-16 Fighting Falcon jet went down in the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Italy. He was 32.

Maj. Gruenther was born in Sonora, attended Twain Harte Elementary School and graduated from Summerville High School.

He earned his commission from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2003. He was a distinguished graduate and member of the parachute team, "Wings of Blue." While at the academy, he earned a bachelor of science degree in management with a minor in Spanish.

Maj. Gruenther received jet pilot training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. He remained there to serve as a T-37 instructor pilot until attending the F-16 basic course in 2009 with the 162nd Fighter Squadron in Springfield, Ohio.

He flew with the "Triple Nickel," serving as the assistant chief of training, chief of plans, and combat F-16 pilot during Operation Enduring Freedom, accumulating over 400 combat hours.

He earned his master's degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and is a distinguished graduate of Squadron Officer School.

Maj. Gruenther was an F-16 flight lead and chief of flight safety for the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy. He developed and executed all aspects of the wing commander's flight safety mishap prevention and response program.

He is survived by his infant daughter, Serene Gruenther, of Aviano, Italy; his wife of seven years, Cassy Gruenther, of Aviano; his parents, Romel Mathias and Joseph Malin, of Twain Harte; his brother and sister-in-law, Alex and Britton Gruenther, of Brussels, Belgium; his brother, Chance Hildreth, of Twain Harte; numerous grandparents, aunts, and cousins.

A celebration of life will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at Summerville High School, 17555 Tuolumne Road, Tuolumne. A funeral service with full military honors will be held at 10:30 a.m. March 22 at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Bennie Smith Funeral Home in Dover, Del., is handling arrangements.

Jerry Joseph Kuhn

Nov. 13, 1946 - Feb. 17, 2013

Sonora resident Jerry Kuhn died Feb. 17 at Avalon Care Center in Sonora. He was 66.

Mr. Kuhn was born in San Francisco to George and Gladys Kuhn and raised in the Bay Area.

He owned U-Save Motors car lot, first in Daly City and then in San Bruno and spent his career selling cars.

Mr. Kuhn moved to Sonora in the late 1990s to take care of his mother.

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, NASCAR and cooking.

Mr. Kuhn was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Tammy and Matt Albright, in Burlingame; and brother and sister-in-law Fred and Sharon Kuhn, of Henderson, Nev.

Services were held.

Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.


ADCOCK - Ellis Adcock, 84, of Sonora, died Wednesday at Avalon Care Center. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

EDENS - Sherman Ray Edens, 66, of Tuolumne, died Tuesday at his home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

GLOYN - Valerie Gloyn, 69, of Sonora, died Wednesday at her home. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

HAMMELL - Isabella Hammell, 75, of Sonora, died Tuesday at Davis Healthcare Center. Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home is handling arrangements.